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Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 18:02 UK

West Ham board upsets McCartney

George McCartney
McCartney believes he has been made a scapegoat for Curbishley's exit

George McCartney says the West Ham board went behind former manager Alan Curbishley's back and covered up the reasons for his sale to Sunderland.

The sale of defenders McCartney and Anton Ferdinand to Sunderland is said to have triggered Curbishley walking out of Upton Park on Wednesday.

"Curbishley's views were that Anton and I weren't going anywhere," McCartney told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But the club went behind his back and accepted the fees."

However, West Ham said they are "astonished" by the claims and insisted McCartney handed in a transfer request on Monday 1 September.

In a statement, the club alleged the defender said: "Due to private, family reasons I wish to accept the offer to move back to Sunderland."

He had previously been quoted on the West Ham website as saying his wife Elaine had failed to settle in London.

Ferdinand was sold to Sunderland last Wednesday for 8m with McCartney following him to the Stadium of Light for about 6m five days later.

Curbishley then dramatically stood down as West Ham manager on Wednesday, citing a lack of control over transfer policy.

The former Charlton boss, who had taken over from Alan Pardew in 2006, claimed decisions had been made "without involving me".

And McCartney's revelations support Curbishley's view that the West Ham board had overruled him.

"What's gone on with Alan Curbishley is very disappointing," McCartney told the BBC.

"I was disappointed when he said that mine and Anton's sales were the main reasons [for his departure] but I understand fully that he wasn't getting the backing from the board or the club.

"Over those two years, he's taken the club forward, staved off relegation and finished 10th last year - that was a great achievement.

"But the board had different feelings; they spent a lot of money and were probably looking for more success.

"He hasn't had any money to spend to strengthen the team and those at the club are selling the players behind his back.

"I couldn't see why he was under so much pressure. He's a great guy and I've never had any problems with him."

McCartney also rubbished West Ham's claim that his departure was triggered when he handed in a written transfer.

A club statement issued at the time of Curbishley's departure said: "McCartney handed in a formal written transfer request after failing to resolve his personal reasons for wanting a move away."

However, the 27-year-old Northern Ireland international insisted he would have been happy to stay at Upton Park.

"Sunderland made a bid [for me] last week but I know West Ham turned it down," explained McCartney.

"I had a meeting with the manager and said that my family were quite unsettled in London so I was hoping to move back up north.

"But the manager said no, in no uncertain terms, I was staying at West Ham and the club wouldn't be accepting any fees.

"Then I got a call Sunday that the fee had been accepted so I had to make my way up north.

"I have seen on the West Ham website I handed in a written transfer request.

"I never did anything of the sort. It was purely a family issue and I never handed in a written transfer request.

"The state that the club's in at the minute they are just trying to cover their tracks with the supporters.

"These are strange times at West Ham and no-one really knows what is going on at boardroom level."

see also
Di Canio wants to be Hammers boss
04 Sep 08 |  West Ham
Curbishley 'made transfer errors'
04 Sep 08 |  West Ham
Curbishley quits as West Ham boss
03 Sep 08 |  West Ham
McCartney makes Sunderland return
01 Sep 08 |  West Ham
End of big spending at West Ham
09 May 08 |  West Ham

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